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Newark Eyes Full-Time NBA Team Once Nets Leave For Brooklyn
Published March 8, 2010
|Nets Will Play At Newark's Prudential Center
For Next Two Seasons, Perhaps Also '12-13
Newark Mayor Cory Booker on Friday said that he "intends to at least try to bring NBA basketball back to the city once the Nets take up full-time residence in Brooklyn," according to Julian Garcia of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Booker joined NBA and Nets officials Friday to formally announce that the team will move from Izod Center to Prudential Center for the '10-11 and '11-12 NBA seasons, with speculation that it "could stay there for one season beyond that since construction" on Barclays Center in Brooklyn has yet to begin. Booker said, "This is a city that should have basketball in it." A Nets source denied that the team will play its "final two home games of this season" at Prudential. Garcia noted the team launched a new Web site Friday, www.netsallnew.com, with a new slogan, "It's All New." The site features a link that fans "can click on to purchase season-ticket plans for games at the Rock." The Nets have "set aside 500 season tickets that can be purchased for $299 each." NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver during Friday's press conference also revealed that Mikhail Prokhorov "should be approved as new owner of the Nets in early-to-mid-April" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/6). Nets President & CEO Brett Yormark said of the relocation, "For us, the time was right for a change before we make our move to Brooklyn in two years." In New Jersey, David Giambusso noted the deal is a "major victory for Booker, who has been fighting for the move" since Prudential opened in '07. Booker: "You can't discount the tangible impact those two to three years are going to have. It will bring millions of dollars to our city -- it will bring millions of visitors to our city" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 3/6). He added, "Newark is America's No. 1 comeback city. ... We're starting to show this nation what's possible" (N.Y. POST, 3/6).
A WIN-WIN SITUATION? In N.Y., Filip Bondy noted the Nets are scheduled to break ground on Barclays Center this Thursday, and the move to Brooklyn is "absolutely great" for the NBA team. But Bondy added, "I'm just not sure it's so great for the borough. If you are the Nets, you may now have a real recruiting carrot. And if you are the Knicks, you ought to fret that your backyard has been sliced by half." Should the Nets "turn things around in the next two years while the Knicks fail to sign impact free agents, then it is not so very hard to imagine that Brooklyn will be a much hotter ticket" than MSG (NYDAILYNEWS.com, 3/7).